DXO PureRAW

agentlossing

All-Pro
Location
S. Oregon Coast (the Northernmost-Cal of them All)
Real Name
Andrew Lossing

DXO has just released the most sensational part of their PhotoLab 4 Elite, the DeepPrime noise reduction, as a utility that converts RAW files to denoised, corrected DNGs that can then be imported into other image editing applications. I tried DeepPRIME when it was released, and found that it did make my older micro four thirds RAW files look a lot better. It's not quite magic, it doesn't make the RAWs look like they straight up came out of another camera, but they do look a ton better in many cases, without oppressive noise reduction artifacts or smoothing.

The best part for me, this utility is less than half of the cost of PhotoLab 4 Elite ($89 introductory price versus $199 for PL4), making it more within my budget for software. I have Lightroom 6.14, DXO's latest NIK Collection, and On1 Effects, and I don't really want to wrestle with a full-on RAW editor outside of what I already have and am most comfortable with, so I think this is gonna fit in really well for me. I'll be testing it out and will report my findings!
 

Thai-Mike

Veteran
Location
Thailand
Real Name
Michael
I tested DXO Photolab 4 Elite now quite a time. I love it and even I have LR Classic on my computer I don't use it a lot just some times for the cropping tool.
Luminar 4 and Capture one I uninstalled from my computer. So I think DxO Pure Raw is for me not necessary.

I love DxO Software
 

agentlossing

All-Pro
Location
S. Oregon Coast (the Northernmost-Cal of them All)
Real Name
Andrew Lossing
Now that it's the weekend, I intend to make some time to test it. From what I've been reading, PureRAW takes control away from the strength of the NR and corrections, so some have said that it applies too much sharpening to the DNG it spits out. I don't want that, it's definitely not the right point in my workflow for that. But I'm going to have to see for myself.
 

agentlossing

All-Pro
Location
S. Oregon Coast (the Northernmost-Cal of them All)
Real Name
Andrew Lossing
My initial impression is that PureRAW does take grainy high-ISO images and do a complete edit on them, and in that sense it saves a ton of time. The file I'm including was grainy enough that Lightroom 6 (long in the tooth now of course) just couldn't make any headway with noise reduction and sharpening both. Raising NR enough to get rid of the harsh grain softened detail to mush, and sharpening after that just resulted in mottling. The straight conversion from DNG:

R0000595.jpg


The thing about PureRAW is that it's sharpening the image to the highest degree you might want it at - and that's applied to a DNG that, aside from the lens corrections and denoising, hasn't had other edits applied. It ties my hands a bit for subsequent clarity, tonal contrast, any of those tools which affect microcontrast and the perceived sharpness of the file. Of course, maybe that's less needed.

R0000591-DNG_DxO_DeepPRIME.jpg


Just for curiosity, here's a mild tonal contrast filter applied to the PureRAW DNG from On1 Effects and exported in LR:

R0000591-DNG_DxO_DeepPRIME-Edit.jpg


It's not perfect, of course - control over the sharpening would make it pretty much so in my opinion - but, if you were satisfied to put a noisy RAW file through the program and then use another one to fine tune colors and lighting, but not further tweak clarity or sharpness very much, I can see it being very useful. I'll keep playing with it.
 

olli

Super Moderator Emeritus
Location
Sofia, Bulgaria
Real Name
olli
I've also been experimenting a bit with this. Here are my results - the first three shots are crops, the fourth is the full image. The image is from a Sony RX100 at ISO 3200. First shot is the RAW file in LR with default NR switched off. The second shot is processed using Deep Prime, the third shot is Deep Prime plus lens correction and the final shot is the Deep Prime + lens correction version processed further in LR. I have a more detailed description on my blog.

DSC01563.jpg


DSC01563-1-dng_DxO_DeepPRIME.jpg


DSC01563-1-dng_DxO_DeepPRIME-2.jpg


Prime-LR Edit.jpg
 
I also tried Pure Raw and I have to say that its noise reduction performance is phenomenal, like shown in the post of @olli above. Have to experiment further because so far I only processed raw files that were already converted to DNG before going through Pure Raw: sometimes Lightroom refuses to show previews for the files processed by Pure Raw. I also don't like the extra step in the workflow and the almost tripling of file sizes. And I have to manually set the camera profile and lens profile in Lightroom. All in all it's way too much of a hassle and if I'm going to use Pure RAW, it'll only be very occasionally for almost hopelessly noisy files; I usually use fairly low ISO values and for those I don't need extreme noise reduction.
 

theoldsmithy

Hall of Famer
Location
Cheshire, England
Real Name
Martin Connolly
Well blow me down, this is some seriously good processing. Here's an ISO6400 shot - in camera JPEG (which were usually pretty good from the E-M10) vs the DXO Deep Prime with lens correction. I would buy this like a shot, although 80 quid is quite pricey and the process isn't quick (this one took 2 minutes). As Andrew found, trying to get the same level of noise reduction in LR on the raw file makes the image really mushy.
dxovsjpeg.jpg
 

Piano

Veteran
Real Name
Nigel
I would have loved to have been able to use this but as X-Trans files aren't supported I can't. I could get it for use with my old Panasonic and Canon files but as I refer back to these less and less, there's not much point. Some great results above.
 

theoldsmithy

Hall of Famer
Location
Cheshire, England
Real Name
Martin Connolly
OK, another test. This was a low ISO file (250) taken with a Panasonic TZ80.
This first file is the best I could get to from the RAW file using Lightroom.
20210306-P1000265.jpg


Then this is what PureRaw did with the file. No further editing.
20210306-P1000265-RW2_DxO_DeepPRIME.jpg

So not huge differences, but there is definitely more detail in the bird's plumage, and the bark of the tree stump has more pop to it.
 

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